A 54-year-old Butler man wielding a machete was fatally shot by Taylor County deputies Thursday night, according to the GBI.
Coroner Gary Lowe identified the man as Johnny W. Howell, of 361 W. Old Wire Road.
An autopsy is being performed to determine how many times Howell was shot. He was shot multiple times, said Wayne Smith, special agent in charge of the GBIs Midland field office.
About 5 p.m. Thursday, deputies responded to a 911 call from residents on Old Wire Road who said a man, later identified as Howell, was acting erratically and was threatening people with a machete, Smith said.
He was acting like he didnt know them even though he knew many of the residents, Smith said.
When deputies arrived, they tried to get Howell to drop the machete and a fight ensued while trying to get him under control. Howell was shot during the fight, he said.
Lowe said Howell was shot in the yard of a house about a quarter mile from his home.
GBI agents are performing a use of force investigation. Two of the three deputies involved in the encounter with Howell fired shots, Smith said.
Agents have interviewed the deputies and witnesses and have collected physical evidence from the scene.
Evidence does not show that the incident was related to Halloween, Smith said.
Results of blood and tissue tests to be performed on Howell will be needed before the investigation is complete. It could take as long as six months before the results are returned, he said.
Once agents complete their investigation, they will deliver it to the district attorney, who will determine whether the shooting was justified, Smith said.
Messages left at the sheriffs office seeking comment were not returned Friday.
To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.